This is a controversial issue, where different people have different
opinions. The two main views are:
The risk of becoming an addict is so great, that you should never use any
Drugs can be used in safe ways, and only certain usage is dangerous.
These two views vary from person to person, from culture to culture, and
from drug to drug. For example, many people take view 2 for alcohol, but
view 1 for many other recreational drugs.
Those who take view 2 explain this view as follows:
Alcohol or recreational drugs can be used, but can also be abused. We talk
about abuse when a substance is used without taking the risks into
account, without following any rules and for the wrong reasons.
Using recreational drugs means taking risks. These risks can be limited by
taking the risks into account and by using them in such a way that the
risks are limited. Generally, using in the most sensible way possible
means that you shouldn't use too much, use only when you feel good and you
are in a good environment, and when you have prepared yourself to use.
Using recreational drugs means that you should know when you can use and
when you cannot. In the case of alcohol, many people have made rules or
deals with themselves, like "I only drink during dinner", "I don't drink
when I drive, exercise or work", "when I go out I don't drink more than 5
glasses of alcohol", etc. The rules can help to keep use within control.
Recreational drugs are risky substances that require these kinds of deals
or rules. People with this view say that you abuse drugs when you don't
have any deal with yourself about the use of them.
Recreational drugs can be used for several reasons. You can use because
you hang around with friends or because you like it, but you can also use
them if you don't want to suffer from a bad feeling, or because you can't
get rid of your tensions otherwise. If you use drugs for these last
reasons, you actually don't use them for your own pleasure, but to solve a
problem. In that case you are using drugs for the wrong reasons. The
chance that your drug use gets out of hand is normally bigger when you use
for negative reasons than when you use for positive reasons.